Sunday, 29 September 2013

It's difficult...

In Milan some things are proving difficult...
like choosing which pasta to buy when the choice seems endless, 
or finding coffee that's hotter than lukewarm. 
It's very hard to take a bad shot of the Duomo, or to resist a glass of prosecco on the rooftop bar of La Rinascente. Thanks Peter!
Yes, some things in Milan are proving to be quite difficult...
but it is IMPOSSIBLE to only eat gelati once a week! 
I withdraw my previous declaration. It was made before we moved less than a block away from this tiny gelateria where the nocciola flavour has proved to be irresistible. 

Taste test summary
Like many lovers of gelati one of my favourite flavours is a popular classic - Nocciola. At our local gelateria it is a really delicious creamy, hazelnut flavour which varies slightly from day to day as it is made fresh on site! 
My only criticism is that it lacks the crunch of real nuts. I do love a chunky, toffee surprise in my gelato.
Gelati rating 
Nocciola  **** 

Try it here:
i Gelati di Nanina
via Foppa 52
I'm not alone in my recommendation.
Così ora si può apprezzare quanto sia difficile la vita può essere quando si vive dietro l'angolo da una gelateria. Alla prossima settimana ...

Sunday, 22 September 2013

No skorts in Stresa

Isola Pescatori on Lake Maggiore

I'll get to the skorts, but first to Stresa. Friends from Australia, Mary and Melissa, arrived in Milano last week for a brief stopover on their way to a Scandinavian adventure. After a quick tour of the 'must see' spots in Milano we whisked them away to Stresa for the weekend.
Admiring the Duomo in the early evening light.
We are discovering that one of the best things about Milano is that it's a convenient stopover with many international flights transiting through Malpensa airport. Even more appealing is Milano's central location so weekends away are very easy to organise. Stefano's colleagues recommended Stresa as a great spot to take visitors and it's only an hour away by train. We arrived there around midday slightly disappointed by the fairly ordinary scenery along the train route, but once we reached the famous promenade along the shore of Lake Maggiore our disappointment vanished rapidly.  Looking out to the beautiful Borromean Islands we decided to make the most of the sunny afternoon. A brief ferry trip took us to the most famous, and closest island, Isola Bella.  Like other slightly more well known couples, Napoleon and Josephine, Charles and Di, we strolled around this once rocky outcrop. For centuries the Italians have been gardening here transforming the tiny island into a spectacular garden which spreads out like a bride's veil from the magnificent palazzo.

We could have spent more time exploring the other islands as the largest, Isola Madre,  has an even more expansive garden but like the light we were fading from our afternoon of sightseeing. Luckily all that was needed was a refreshing glass of prosecco, or an aperol spritz for the more adventurous Mary, and we were revived in time to stroll into town for dinner leaving the Italians to their lakeside card games.

Our lucky weather streak changed on Sunday as we woke to a cool, wet morning. Plans to catch the cable car to the top of Monte Mottarone were abandoned, as was our brief ferry trip up the lake in search of more pretty towns. So instead we enjoyed a hearty lunch in Stresa before returning to Milano Centrale.
Although we didn't spot a skort in Stresa, they were seen on the streets of Milano this week.
Yes, it was fashion week in Milano with police controlling the crowds who flocked to the usually empty designer shops in the Quadrilatero d'Oro. Perhaps the crowds had something to do with the free Campari cocktails, or maybe it was the live mannequins in the window displays.
Next year if you're in Milano for fashion week let me know and I'll book one of these appropriately dressed Fiats, but you'll have to BYO skorts.
Così fino alla prossima settimana addio da Milano.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Well why not?

Our dear friend Fi joined us in Milan for the last weekend of summer. So we thought, let's escape from the city and explore the lakes and towns just outside Milan.
Hire a Fiat 500?
Why not!
 Drive 55kms north to the lakeside town of Varese
Tour some beautifully restored villas?

Relax in the stunning gardens?

Stay in a magnificently restored ancient manor house?
Drink local Buosi café and stir with a chocolate spoon?

Join the crowds taking an evening walk by Lago Varese and discover a little corner of home?
Drink free prosecco on the terrace of our gorgeous hotel?
We did it all and loved every minute. Can you tell?